By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Military units or other personnel planning to use ranges or
training areas at Fort McCoy during upcoming training now can use the
Internet or compact discs (CDs) to
get up to speed on safety information before coming to the
Spc. Joseph Johnson from Company
B of the 201st Engineer Battalion, a Kentucky Army National
Guard unit, fires an MK-19 Grenade Launcher at Range 26. The
unit is conducting mobilization training at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Tom Michele)
Mike Kelley, a Fort McCoy Range Safety specialist for the
directorate of Emergency Services (DES)/Directorate of Plans,
Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), said the new Range Safety
Training Briefing/test has been available on the Internet or on a CD
since March 3.
"We designed the briefing so units can complete their
safety requirements at their home station before they come to Fort
McCoy," Kelley said. "This saves them the time of having to
complete it here, and they can spend more time on training. It also
reduces the time we (DPTMS) have to spend doing this training so we
can use this time to accomplish other activities."
Units that wish to use ranges/training areas at Fort McCoy are
required to have personnel certified to run these facilities. Kelley
said the personnel are designated by commanders.
The certification process has three parts, he said.
First, the responsible unit personnel will watch the safety
briefing via the Internet or from a CD that is available from Fort
McCoy. The training includes all the necessary information, including
access links to Department of the Army Regulation and Pamphlet 385-63,
Range Safety, and Fort McCoy Regulation 350-1, the Training
Second, personnel must pass a 25-question test about the
briefing on a pass/no-go basis by answering all of the questions
Third, unit commanders must certify these personnel have
correctly answered all of the questions. Kelley said unit commanders
will appoint range safety officers and officers in charge (warrant or
commissioned officers or noncommissioned officers) to help run the
training facilities/ranges who are knowledgeable about their duties
and any weapons systems involved in the training.
"The test is done with an open book, so personnel can find
the right answers to all of the questions," Kelley said.
"This will encourage them to do more reading on our safety
policies and increase their overall knowledge of training
"(They can use
the information) to help prevent any potential accidents and enhance
safety at the ranges," he said.
The briefing runs 30 minutes. Eventually, the safety
information will include short sections about LASER (Light
Amplification by Stimulated Emitted Radiation), indirect fire and
demolition safety, he said.
The safety briefing is available on the Fort McCoy Extranet
(via the installation's public Web site at
anyone who has an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account.
For those personnel who need to access the training and don't
have an AKO account, such as other military services besides the Army
or law enforcement agencies, they can obtain a CD from the Fort McCoy
DPTMS by contacting Range Scheduling at (608) 388-3721/3713.
Kelley said the certification is valid for one year. Personnel
who wait to take the training at Fort McCoy will not be allowed on the
ranges or training facilities until they have completed the training
and passed the test.